Category: Blog

Marital Trust Assets Valued Without Deduction for Claims Against Trustee.

The Ninth Circuit, affirmed a Tax Court ruling, by holding that the value of three marital trusts created under the will of the decedent’s husband, were calculated without consideration of claims against the decedent for breach of fiduciary duty in litigation in transactions involving loans, and also valued claims held by the decedent’s estate for [..]

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Surcharge Trustee

When a trustee breaches his or her fiduciary duty, causing financial damage to the trust, trust beneficiaries may bring an action against the trustee for “surcharge.” This means that the trustee should compensate the trust for the damage he or she caused. A surcharge will require the trustee to repay to the trust whatever funds [..]

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Collecting Personal Loan After Bankruptcy

I am often asked this question: “I loaned by friend money, now he claimed bankruptcy, what can I do?” Often, the sad answer is not much. You can hope for a voluntary payment of debt after bankruptcy discharge. Sometimes, but not often, a debtor may feel some moral obligation to repay a debt discharged in [..]

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Homeowner, As Third Party Beneficiary of Construction Contract, Entitled to Recover Attorney Fees Against Subcontractor.

In Loduca v. Polyzos (2007), 153 CA4th 334, the plaintiff property owner successfully sued a subcontractor for breach of the contract between the subcontractor and the general contractor as a third party beneficiary of the contract. The trial court awarded plaintiff attorney fees based on an attorney fees provision in the contract. Defendant subcontractor appealed the attorney fee award. The Court of Appeal affirmed that under California Civil [..]

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Personal Representative Liable for Distributing Estate Assets Before Paying Decedent’s Outstanding Tax Debt

In United States v. Shriner, 2014 WL 992300 (D.Md. March 13, 2014), a U.S. district court granted the government a summary judgment. The court held that the personal representative was personally liable for the decedent’s back income taxes.  The personal representative distributed the estate assets before paying the outstanding tax liability. The personal representative relied [..]

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Living Wills: Important Plan of Action that Most Americans Don’t Make

What is a living will? An article recently posted in HealthDay discusses researchers’ findings that show most Americans do not prepare for end-of-life decisions.  A living will – also known as an advance directive and in California referred to as an advance health care directive (AHCD) – is a document that specifies end-of-life care desires. [..]

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Discussing Your Estate Plan with your Children

Is ‘inheritance talk’ a taboo holiday topic? The holidays are fast approaching and so is the end of yet another year.  Family traditions and gatherings are abounding during the holidays.  For many, these are times to gather with family members, enjoy each other’s company – talk about the ‘old days’ as well as catch up [..]

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Can I Deduct The Cost of An Estate Plan From My Taxes?

Some estate planning expenses may be tax deductible if they are related to the management of income-producing property. Please contact your CPA and ask him about Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) § 212(2). But these expenses are subject to the 2% floor on miscellaneous itemized deductions under I.R.C. § 67. Once the estate plan is already [..]

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Should you get an Umbrella Insurance Policy for a Rainy Day?

In addition to primary insurance policies, I recommend that some of my clients purchase umbrella or excess policies to provide additional insurance. In case you’re interested, California Insurance Code § 676.6 defines “umbrella liability insurance policy,” “excess liability insurance policy,” and “excess property insurance policy.” First, What is an Excess Insurance Policy? In plain English, [..]

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Out-of-State Property and Probate (Ancillary Probate)

What happens when a California resident owns real estate outside of California? Or what happens when a resident of another state owns real estate that is located in California? Usually, there must be two or more probates. There must be an “ancillary probate.” Sometimes, (but not all the time) a probate will also be started [..]

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